About a week ago one of my new creative friends, Lindsey Mead, wrote a really neat blog post she called “The Alphabet of Right Now” in which she assigned each letter of the alphabet to something relevant in her current life.  Lindsey is a wonderful and prolific writer and I encourage you to check out her blog A Design So Vast when you want to do some meaningful meditation on life.

I strongly considered doing my own “Alphabet of Right Now” in a manner that celebrated my life the people that I love who grace the pages of my running internal memoir.  But over the weekend I pulled my back out and the intense, black pain is really all I can think about.

So, here is Lindsey’s beautiful construct, adapted for my current incapacitated state… or in other words:

The Alphabet of Ow

A is for the 14 degree angle at which I am leaning when I walk.

B is for the bulging disc which I have self diagnosed in myself.  I have no reason for this diagnosis except that it feels bulging.

C is for the chiropractors who I trust to make me feel better yet I tend to avoid because they want to continue to see me once I feel better and I consider that a waste of money.

D is for Dave whose back is also giving him trouble.  However, he is at least 7000 times more cranky about it then I am.

E is for the cool earth shoes I bought and loved but am now secretly blaming for my back pain.  This breakup will be difficult.

F is for the word I use every time I stand up.

G is for God who, after seeing the low level of sympathy I had for my husband’s suffering, thought perhaps a little lesson was in order.  Point taken.

H is for the hot tub at the Healthplex which gives me some relief but you can’t stay in there all the time for some obvious and not so obvious reasons.

I is for the Icy Hot gel that Dave uses when his back goes out.  I don’t think this has ever cured his back, made him feel any better, or given me any reason to play footsie with him in bed at night after he applies this remedy.  The menthol smell make me twitch.

J is for the mommy juice (a.k.a.  scotch) which I think will outperform the Icy Hot gel when it comes to pain relief.

K is for all the people who yell at you to use your KNEES (not your back) when you lift something.  Yeah, we know that by now.

L is for the laps I will do in the pool until I am once again able to run, ellipicalate, life weights or walk like I don’t have a huge load in my pants.

M is for massage which, while lovely, doesn’t do jack shit to make me feel any better.

N is for the number of people over the age of 40 that don’t have some sort of back pain:  NONE

O is for Dr. Oz who should really do house calls.  For women with back pain.  Whose names rhyme with Schemily.

P is for the pillow that I have been placing between my knees when I sleep because I read somewhere that this is supposed to help.

Q is for Quasimodo.  Enough said.

R is for the rack I wish we owned so I could be tied to it, stretched, and cured in one giant medieval session.  I would even let Dave and the boys turn the crank.  I think they would have fun doing that.

S is for the surgery that everyone tells you to AVOID AT ALL COSTS. It amazes me that with all the orthopedic advances being made, no one has put forth a treatment that cures the common backache.  I might suggest that the common backache replace the common cold as the number one malady we truly need to cure.

T is for the turtle on its back that I resemble when trying to get out of the bed in the morning. If it didn’t suck so much, it would be rather funny.

U is for the lack of understanding I get from the brothers when I explain that Mom’s back hurts and could they please carry their own laundry basket downstairs.  They know by now not to do the eye roll but I can sense they are rolling their eyes on the inside.

V is for the leftover Vicodin from a past surgery that sits in my medicine cabinet calling my name.  I will not take it because 1) I need to function 2) I have convinced myself that taking a painkiller will make me an addict and 3) the expiration date was 2006, which gives me a little pause.

W is for the wall I have to hold onto every time I sneeze or I risk folding like a paper doll.

X is for X-Ray which doctors order for backs before the MRIs — to no avail whatsoever.  An X-ray has never told me anything about my sore back.

Y is for yoga, which is another piece of advice I get about how to cure my back.  I think I need to lose about 50 pounds before I start yoga so that I can look as good as the people who do yoga.  Either that or do double secret private yoga by myself until I evolve into the yoga butterfly I am clearly meant to be.

Z is for the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s that I see appear over peoples heads when the person they are conversing with is talking about how much their back hurts.  For this reason, I will let the pain runs its course and shut up already.  This too shall pass.  I hope.  Soon.

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